Several unconventional intersection designs were proposed and implemented to enhance traffic safety and operation at intersections. The efficiency of these intersection designs was not sufficiently evaluated in the previous research because of the limited implementation of such designs. However, with the growing interest in the implementation of unconventional intersections by municipalities and transport agencies, it has become a need for a comprehensive evaluation of their safety and operational benefits. Therefore, this dissertation aims to evaluate the safety and operational aspects of unconventional intersection designs by employing different research approaches: crash analysis, microscopic simulation, and driving simulation. Firstly, this dissertation evaluated the effectiveness of median U-turn crossover-based intersections (median U-turn (MUT) and restricted crossing U-turn (RCUT) intersections), which have the least number of traffic conflicts among other unconventional intersection designs, in enhancing traffic safety by estimating crash modification factors (CMF) for their implementation. The results indicated that MUT and RCUT intersections are safer than the 4-leg conventional intersection. Secondly, A new innovative intersection design, which has been given the name "Shifting Movements" (SM) intersection, was introduced and proposed to replace the implementation of the RCUT intersection under moderate and heavy minor road traffic conditions. Evaluation of the operational benefits of this intersection design was performed in the microscopic simulation environment by assuming different traffic volume levels and left-turn proportions to represent the peak hour with moderate to high left-turn traffic volumes. The results demonstrated that the SM intersection design significantly outperforms conventional and RCUT intersections when they are subjected to high traffic volumes in terms of average control delay and throughput. Finally, A driving simulation experiment was conducted to evaluate the safety aspects of the SM intersection design. Several surrogate safety measures were adopted for the evaluation. The effectiveness of using infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) communication for mitigating the confusion at unconventional intersections has been also evaluated in this research. Findings indicated that RCUT and SM intersections have similar safety performance and crossing them is safer than crossing the 4-leg conventional intersection. It was found that using I2V communication is helpful in understanding unconventional movement patterns. This dissertation can be a solid reference for decision-makers regarding the implementation of unconventional intersection designs.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Engineering and Computer Science
Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Al-Omari, Ma'en, "Evaluation of Unconventional Signalized Intersections on Arterial Roads and a Proposition for a Novel Intersection Design" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1316.